The Atlantic: The Hazards of Nerd Supremacy: The Case of WikiLeaks
“The flip side of responsibly held secrets, however, is trust. A perfectly open world, without secrets, would be a world without the need for trust, and therefore a world without trust. What a sad sterile place that would be: A perfect world for machines.”
Clay Shirky: Half-formed thought on Wikileaks & Global Action
On Cablegate, especially how the Pentagon Papers and our basic societal comprises play. “Whatever happens, though, this is new ground, and needs to be hashed out as an exemplar of the clash of basic principles that it is.”
“Still, why does it matter what some politicians and think tanks say? The answer is that there’s a well-developed right-wing media infrastructure in place to catapult the propaganda, as former President George W. Bush put it, to rapidly disseminate bogus analysis to a wide audience where it becomes part of what ‘everyone knows.’ (There’s nothing comparable on the left, which has fallen far behind in the humbug race.)”
A good interview, and explains Obama's long-game strategy explicitly. His indignation at progressives and Democrats complaining about the state of things when much has actually been accomplished is reasonable, but his final statement bothers me.
"We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. Bringing about change is hard — that's what I said during the campaign. It has been hard, and we've got some lumps to show for it. But if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place." OK, but what does that mean? What's going to make a difference with ten-to-one odds and enormous corporations and special-interest groups lined up on the other side? Your base gave you a lot of money to help you get elected, but is that what you're asking them to do again, deep in a recession? They need direction, advice, some instruction or insight. What exactly do you want us to 'try harder' at?
"A stimulus too small to significantly reduce unemployment, a TARP that didn’t trickle down to Main Street, financial reform that doesn’t fundamentally restructure Wall Street, and health-care reforms that don’t promise to bring down health-care costs have all created an enthusiasm gap. They’ve fired up the right, demoralized the left, and generated unease among the general population."